2 Corinthians 6:3-10—We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. (NIV)
Spiritual burnout is not caused by being overly devoted to God. It is caused by being overly devoted to ministry, to people, to one’s reputation and self-worth. In fact, I don’t believe it is possible to be too devoted to God. Whenever I find someone no longer in ministry and angry or bitter towards God and His followers there is always a trail that leads back to misplaced devotion. How easy it is for us to start off in love with God and become more enamored somewhere along the way with what we are doing for Him. Once we dissemble our devotion we are vulnerable to defeat. Hard times come along and Satan sends his demons of doubt to feast on our table of self-pity. He whispers his sly message, “God has let you down. You served Him and look what happened. He really doesn’t care.”
Who or what are you devoted to? Now when life is good and circumstances are favorable devotion seems easy—no big deal. But what about tomorrow when your safe world is shocked by unforeseen tragedy, or your ride on the mountain ends? Will you find you were more loyal to your circumstances than to your Creator? Will your devotion be locked in the Redeemer or unlocked by the deceiver? Courage is not invented at the time of crisis it is forged on the plains of daily commitment.
O God, may we be Your devoted branches. Thank You for our freedom. For our prosperity we acknowledge Your generous hand. We are a blessed people in the midst of turbulent times. Keep our eyes on You. May we hold to Your Vine when the wind of adversity comes and whips us in every direction. Deepen our joy when the moss of unjust treatment smothers our limbs. Nourish us in Your Son when the invidious pests of suffering and discouragement gnaw on our character. May our succulent fruit when squeezed pour out the juice of Your salvation. May we be wholly devoted to You for Your unending glory.
If I am devoted to the cause of humanity only, I will soon be exhausted and come to the place where my love will falter; but if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity though men treat me as a door-mat.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)